COVID-19 situation reports - 2021
A snapshot of current needs and response
Reporting period: 1 January to 31 December 2021
- UNICEF supported the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme that scaled-up in mid-2021. Highlights included direct cold chain support to the Department of Health and playing a lead role in the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) working group. This included social listening, data and evidence collection and community engagement, such as the UNICEF ‘multimedia truck’ and Zwakala campaign, encouraging vaccination and non-pharmaceutical COVID prevention. UNICEF reached about 50 million people with key messages during the COVID-19 campaigns.
- UNICEF supported the Department of Basic Education to keep schools open throughout the year. New data showed that rotational attendance resulted in a 75per cent to a full year of lost learning. The development of a risk adjusted strategy to school opening and closing, as well as advocacy to build confidence among education stakeholders, pupils, parents, and caregivers helped to keep classrooms open safely as much as possible.
- UNICEF scaled up its existing partnerships to tackle pre-existing child rights issues which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The broader impact of COVID-19 on children and young people was devastating throughout 2021, including a drop in routine childhood immunization coverage and primary health care visits, high levels of violence against children and youth unemployment and a rise in teenage pregnancies. UNICEF scaled up its existing partnerships to tackle pre-existing child rights issues that have only been exacerbated since the pandemic outbreak.